BAHAWALPUR: The protesting students of the Quaid-i-Azam Medical College (QMC), Bahawalpur, on Monday closed the main gate of the Victoria Hospital operation theatre causing inconvenience to the patients who had appointments.
An affected patient told The Express Tribune that he had been waiting for two hours for the protest to end.
He said that the hospital administration told him to come to the OPD for a medical procedure on Monday but now they were not offering any assistance. Another affected patient said, “These are educated people.
They should realise that people are being affected by their protest.” He said that the students should stage their protest outside the premises and not disturb the hospital atmosphere.
Meanwhile, the protest entered the fifth day on Monday. The students, staging a sit-in outside the college premises, blocked the Circular Road opposite the Bahawalpur Veterinary Hospital (BVH) causing inconvenience to commuters as well.
Talking to The Express Tribune, the students expressed displeasure at Zulfiqar Khosa who had been staying at the Circuit House, Bahawalpur, for two days but had not helped in resolving the issue. However, Mian Baleeghur Rehman, a PML-N MNA, met with the protesters and assured them of a transparent inquiry into the incident.
The protesters also burned an effigy of the QMC principal, Professor Ejaz Shah. They said that their protests would continue until the ousting of the college principal. They rejected the allegations of the college administration who had earlier said that external elements were involved in the riots.
They said that such baseless accusations were being made to divert public attention from the genuine grievances of the students including fee hike and unscheduled power outages.
The students said that they only wanted the administration to listen to their issues. They said that innocent students had been beaten up by the police after the college principal called them.
Addressing a press conference Sunday night, Ejaz Shah said that most demands of the students had been accepted. He reiterated that some elements in the students’ community had tried to damage the college property and turned the issue into a conflict.
The divisional Commissioner of Bahawalpur, Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmed, chaired a meeting of the board of management of the college to review the issue.
The meeting was attended by the members of the board of management including the chairman, Mian Aqeelur Rehman. The meeting discussed recommendations for a transparent inquiry into the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2010.
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